Serves 4 to 8 (whole peppers or half peppers)
1 cup bulgur (or other whole grain; not white rice)
4 whole bell peppers (any color), cut in half lengthwise and cored/seeded
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 carrots, peeled
2 stalks celery
1 medium onion
6 oz mushrooms (either white or brown Baby Bella)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional for cheesy flavor…some stores sell in packets or in bulk section)
Tomato-based pasta sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)
Fresh basil or parsley for garnishing
Put the bulgur in a Pyrex or metal dish and pour in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Let stand to soften for 20 minutes. (Or make brown rice, quinoa, or other grain and cook according to directions.)
Place a large pot with about 4 inches of water in it on the stove to boil. Put the cored and halved peppers in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain peppers in colander or remove from water with tongs. Let cool while you prepare the stuffing.
Either chop the carrots, celery, and onion to a small dice by hand, or cut them in chunks and finish chopping In food processor. Put minced garlic and all diced vegetables in a saute pan with 1/4 cup water (no oil needed) and start cooking over medium heat. Add a bit more water if it gets too dry or begins to stick.
Rinse mushrooms and chop to small dice. Add to other veggies in saute pan. Cook several minutes until soft.
Drain any remaining water from soaked bulgur, and add bulgur, Worcestershire, tamari or Bragg’s Aminos, dried herbs and (optional) nutritional yeast to veggies in pan. Mix to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add roughly 1/2 cup tomato sauce to build more flavor.
Put 1/2 cup tomato sauce in bottom of flat baking dish (9” x 13″ works well) and spread around. Dish should be large enough to hold 8 pepper halves lying flat. Stuff each pepper half with bulgur-vegetable mixture and place in pan. When all peppers are full, top each with a small spoonful of remaining sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbling. Add chopped fresh herbs on top before serving.